Skip to main content

March is Women’s History Month and the Carolina Oaks Greenville team is celebrating. As a women-led dental practice in Greenville, SC, we’re in awe of the amazing things that women in dentistry have achieved. We’re also proud to play our own role in breaking down barriers for women in male-dominated industries and setting a new standard for the field of dentistry. Our three female dentists have decades of experience in treating patients of all ages and have established themselves as leaders in their field. In this post, we’ll share some background on Women’s History Month and some fun facts about women in dentistry, and help you get to know our Carolina Oaks Greenville dentists a little better.

What is Women’s History Month?

All too often women’s contributions to our society, history and culture go overlooked and unnoticed. Women’s History Month, which is held in March every year, began as a way to overcome this. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge, commemorate, study and celebrate the vital role women have played throughout our history, through organized events and educational initiatives. The first Women’s History Month was celebrated in 1978 in Sonoma, California, but it became an annual tradition in 1987.

The cornerstone of Women’s History Month is International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th. This global event first took place in 1911 and now countries around the world celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women on this day. The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 was #BreakTheBias. Women have historically been up against endless discrimination but the time is now to end those stereotypes. And as female dentists in Greenville, the doctors at Carolina Oaks Greenville truly have broken the bias.

A Brief History of Women in Dentistry

Dentistry has always been a male-dominated industry. Even today, although roughly half of dental school graduates are female, women only represent about a third of practicing dentists. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way and women throughout history have made incredible advancements in the field of dentistry. Here’s a brief background on some key women in dental history:

  • 1855: Emeline Roberts Jones becomes the first woman to practice dentistry in the United States. Her husband, a dentist himself, refused to let her study but she did it anyway, treating hundreds of patients in secret. When her husband found out, he realized how proficient a dentist she was and allowed her to practice alongside him.
  • 1866: Lucy Hobbs Taylor graduates from Ohio Dental College, becoming the first woman to receive a doctorate in dentistry. After she was denied entry to two colleges because she was a woman, Taylor contacted a professor directly and asked him to mentor her. He agreed and she went on to practice dentistry for over 20 years.
  • 1890: Ida Gray becomes the first African American woman to graduate with a degree in dentistry. She overcame descrimination for both her race and gender to establish herself as a respected dentist. She attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and was taught by the same professor who taught Lucy Hobbs Taylor. She became well known for treating patients of all backgrounds and inspired her peers to pursue careers in dentistry as well.

Meet the Women Dentists of Carolina Oaks Greenville

Dr. Susan Maxwell

Dr. Susan Maxwell was born and raised right here in Greenville. She completed all of her dental education in South Carolina, from her undergraduate degree through her doctorate to her residency. Dr. Maxwell joined the Carolina Oaks team in 2012 where she focuses on treating each patient with kindness and compassion. She is deeply empathetic and dedicated to her patients, believing that dental health is a major factor in overall health and wellness. 

Dr. Maxwell met her husband, Joey, in college and they married in 2010. They have a young daughter (Ella Kate), two cats (Alex and Cleo) and two dogs (Mack and Rue). She often refers to her family as the Maxwell Family Zoo. In her spare time, she enjoys going on family adventures and giving back. Dr. Maxwell has been a volunteer with the Greenville Free Medical Clinic since 2012 and has made several trips to the Dominican Republic as part of her church’s medical mission team. She has a small obsession with health and wellness products and could not function without CycleBar.

Dr. Tait Carpenter

Dr. Tait Carpenter grew up in Summerville, South Carolina. After studying biology at College of Charleston, she completed dental school at the Medical University of SC. There, she met her husband Matt. After they graduated from university, Matt joined the US Army and the couple were stationed in Savannah, Georgia. When he retired from the army in 2015, they returned to beautiful South Carolina to settle into their permanent home. Dr. Carpenter joined the Carolina Oaks family in 2016.

Dr. Carpenter loves all facets of general dentistry and treating people of all ages. Most recently, her continuing education has focused on teeth straightening, cosmetic dentistry and treatment of temporomandibular disorders. She now has four children (Finn, Henry and twins, Penny and Elizabeth) and two dogs to keep her busy at home.

Dr. Molly Netzler

Dr. Molly Netzler also grew up in Summerville and was first exposed to dentistry by her father, Dr. Tim Jeter, who is a general dentist in North Charleston. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then attended dental school at the Medical University of South Carolina. While in dental school, she was chosen as one of fifteen dental students nationwide to train and do research in dentistry at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in Bethesda, Maryland.

Since graduating, Dr. Netzler has completed over 500 hours of continuing education, including the training to become Invisalign certified. She has since enjoyed the opportunity to help her patients achieve straighter, healthier smiles. She is also a member of several national and local dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and the Occlusal Study Club. Dr. Netzler and her husband, Peter, have a son, Ford, and two daughters, Grayson and Eva. Dr. Netzler has been practicing with Carolina Oaks since 2014.

Now that you know a little more about our team of female dentists in Greenville, come visit us in person! Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Greenville today to book a complimentary consultation.

Wesley Harden

Author Wesley Harden

More posts by Wesley Harden